tv [untitled] March 16, 2012 3:30pm-4:00pm EDT
the tunisian speaks, the little french that i know. there are differences incolonia influence. there are differences, the kind of historical sediment of, for example, the morgaba regime and the alaw, even, in tunisia is something for a quite long period of time, is something that's quite different than what was experienced in egypt, for example. so there are, you know, there are similarities, but there are differences. these are multiple overlapping identities as identities always are. i don't know what else to say about that. >> i would add it's sort of besides compareson from country to country, of course, to me the biggest difference between countries is cuisine. but within countries, i mean, i think there's a lot of tension. so in syria, the ruling regime is alawi. the majority is excluded.
in -- some of the internal -- even ones about religion sometimes aren't about the content of those religious differences so much as about historical sectarian differences. who had power, who's excluded, who's been effective training. they can be exposed and expressed about religious differences. sometimes about religious differences. other times not religious differences at all. paying attention to that is crucial. sometimes there are -- like the wahabis going into the zadi mosques. that's about a religious difference. it's very specific. it's also political. the alawis and the rest of syria, that's about power and repression. >> sam? >> i think that sums it up. >> all right. this brings this panel to a close.
i'm delighted we had a little bit of controversy. i was worried that we were all going to agree on everything, and that's never happened before in our religious freedom conferences. so please join me in thanking our guests. [ applause ] if i might, before -- before you leave, if i could just thank a few people. there are many people who made this possible. all the good folks at the berkeley center, its director, tom banchof. special kudos to project associate kyle vandermulen. to our master video and sound technician who's been doing these events for years, ralph sordel. if we could give them a round of applause, too. thank you for your help. most of all, thanks to you for being here today. come back and see us next thursday at our -- when we'll put america under the spotlight. hhs mandate and religious freedom. thanks for coming.
the group here in georgetown wrapping up their discussion. you can watch one of the earlier panels tonight at 8:00 eastern. that's going to be on our companion network, c-span. the supreme court rejected a request to televise coverage of upcoming oral argument on health care. the court will release same-day audio, though, of the arguments. we're going to have that audio here on c-span 3 as well as on c-span radio and online.
afghanistan's president hamid karzai is demanding u.s. troops pull back immediately from combat zones in afghanistan. he says he's at the end of his rope because of the lack of u.s. cooperation in the recent shootings there allegedly by a u.s. soldier. we're getting your reaction and comments on our facebook page. facebook.com/c-span. you can also click on a link to an article about the recent visit of the secretary of defense there. in congress today, capitol hill empty. both chambers of congress out today. the house returns monday from a week-long district work period. at 4:00 on monday they'll begin legislative business. budget committee chairman paul ryan is expected to present his budget next week. watch the house live as always on c-span and in the senate also in on monday starting the day at 2:00 eastern with general speeches. at 4:30 they'll return to work on a small business bill that aims to loosen securities regulations. and on tuesday, the chamber plans to take several votes
including one that would limit the debate on the bill. we also expect several amendments. the senate's live on c-span 2. i was quite e rat cal as a young person. i was the one who thought that, you know, we -- saying we should overcome was really not a very effective way of gaining civil rights. and i think that i thought that more confrontation was needed. >> economics professor, columnist and substitute host for rush limbaugh, walter williams on being ir rat kl. >> i believe ir rat kl is any person who believes in personal liberty and individual freedom and limited government. that makes you ir radical. i've always been a person who believed that people should not interfere with me. i should be able to do my own thing without -- so long as i don't violate the rights of other people. >> more with walter williams sunday night at 8:00 eastern and pacific on c-span's q & a.
they would wear garments made of homespun cloth. and this homespun cloth would be much more rough textured. would be much less fine than the kinds of goods that they could import from great britain. but by wearing this homespun cloth, women were visibly and vividly and physically displaying their political sentiments. >> sunday night at 9:00, george mason university professor rose marie zagari on the role of women during the revolutionary war. part of american history tv this weekend on c-span 3. next, remarks from gary genz ler on new consumer protections. he currently serves as the chairman of the u.s. commodity futures trading commission and he talked about his agency's new regulatory role under the 2010 financial regulations law. held at george washington university's law school, this is 45 minutes.
>> welcome, everyone. welcome to george washington university law school. and our program at the center for law of economics and finance where we've been discussing financial reform. my name is lawrence cunningham. i'm a member of the faculty here. and it's a great pleasure for me to introduce and welcome gary gensler, currently the chairman of the commodities futures and trading commission. an appointment he received and took in may of 2009 at a very difficult time in our country's financial history. to undertake a very difficult job. i think the country is fortunate to have had that appointment and we're lucky that he is in that job today. his experience will speak to why we're lucky.
he earned a bachelor's of science degree from the university of pennsylvania's warden school sum cum laude back in 1978. and the next year earned a master's of business administration from penn. he spent the next 18 years working at goldman sachs. the investment banking firm in new york. where he became a partner and ultimately served as the co-head of finance. then washington beckoned in 1997 when he took up a position at the u.s. department of the treasury. first serving as assistant secretary of financial markets. and after that serving as undersecretary of domestic finance. in those important positions, he worked very closely on financial policy matters with secretaries of the treasure robert ruben and then lawrence summers. his distinguished service at the department of the treasury
earned his receipt of the alexander hamilton award, the highest honor the department gives. capitol hill beckoned next in our last financial crisis when senator paul sarbanes, the head of the senate banking committee, recruited mr. gensler to help craft the financial reform legislation of that period in 2002 called the sarbanes-oxley act. in between this busy time, mr. gensler managed to co-author a fine book targeted to ordinary americans about investing and finance called "the mutual fund trap." it guides ordinary americans in the sometimes complex world of investment. it's a critique of the mutual fund industry and some of its practices. and an endorsement for an approach to investing called
indexing. i won't elaborate on the book here, but you can buy the book for yourselves at your favorite book seller. but we are delighted and honored to have chairman gensler with us today to talk about financial reform and what it means. so thanks very much, chairman gensler. [ applause ] >> thank you very much -- let's just make sure we got that. thank you very much for that very kind introduction. the mention of the book. i'm wondering whether -- i don't think it's in any bookstores anymore. it's kind of a -- am zon. yeah. it was kind of a neat experience. my kids will read it one day. but good morning. i'd like to thank all of you for allowing me to speak here. i think it's the third time that i've had the honor to come back and speak to this group of -- mix of students and academics
and practitioners. and i've always found the experience a good one. and i'm pleased to really discuss why financial reform matters. what it means for investors, consumers and businesses in america. but let me start by saying what the commodity futures trading commission means for investors, consumers and businesses in america. maybe not all of you are aware of who we are and why it even matters. at its core, the cftc's mission is to ensure the integrity and transparency of something called the derivatives marketplace where the -- the futures market and now the swaps market and along with our big sister, the securities and exchange commission, we have two market regulators in this country and have since the 1930s, since president roosevelt asked for two regulators. so if somebody's wondering why, it's president roosevelt in the 1930s. and that crisis. and each part of the economy relies on a well functioning
derivatives marketplace. futures and swaps markets provide for a way for farmers and ranchers, initially, but later producers and manufacturers, retailers, service companies to lock in a price or rate and manage their risk. that's at its core what these markets are about. locking in a price of corn or wheat at harvest time, initially, but later locking in a rate like an interest rate or currency rate or something in the oil markets. so these markets are critical for commercial companies in the real economy. let me mention the real economy is that part that employs 94% of the private sector jobs in america. that's the nonfinancial side. it's critical for that part of the market so that they can what do they do best? they serve as customers. they produce products. they innovate. they invest in our economy and our country. but they want to lower their risk and lock in the price of risk of something. that's the cftc's mission and
why it matters. the benefits of the derivative markets go beyond the companies in the real economies. it also goes to americans whose retirement security and pension funds or mutual funds benefit. it goes to americans depending upon community banks and insurance companies because these pension funds and mutual funds and insurance companies, community banks, all also want to lock in a rate of interest or currency or commodity. and they benefit from transparent marketplaces. as back in the 1930s president roosevelt asked for transparent marketplaces for something that most americans didn't know about, wheat futures and corn futures. combin combined these markets are very, very large. $22 of hedging or, yes, maybe speculating, in the futures and
swaps marketplace for every dollar that courses through our economy. let me repeat it. $22 of futures and swaps for every dollar of goods and services that runs through our economy. now, by any measure, that's pretty darn meaningful for investors, consumers and businesses in america. that's why it matters to get financial reform right as well. futures and swaps markets touch nearly every aspect of the economy. the food we eat, the price at the pump, to our mortgages and credit cards to our retirement savings. and given how important these markets are, it's, of course, essential that they be transparent, competitive and free of fraud and manipulation. the cftc has historically just been charged to oversee the future market plays. that since the 1930s took about 60 years to get that through congress from the time of the invention of the futures markets. the swaps marketplace invented in 1981 took about 30 years to get regulated. it's actually progress in a
historical context. but in 2008 the unregulated swaps market helped concentrate risk in the financial system and, as we all know, that risk spilled out to the real economy. the real economy that employees 94% of the private sector jobs. it affected every business across america and every consumer across america. anyone who doubts that swaps played a role, may i just remind you of aig. and every one of us in this room got hurt by that crisis. the crisis led to 8 million americans losing their jobs, millions of families losing their homes, thousands of small businesses shuttering. and three years later we still face a challenging economy. and in 2010 congress responded along with the president, the hard work of many, many people, passing the dodd/frank act which expanded our mission at the cftc now to also oversee the u.s. swaps marketplace, a marketplace
that is eight times the size and far more complex than the market we used to oversee. three key goals to keep them simple. three key goals of the parts that we oversee in the dodd/frank act. one, bring transparency and competition to the swaps market. one, transparency. two, protect against wall street risks spreading out again over the rest of the economy. so lower risk, number two. three, enhance market integrity. so transparency, lower risk, market integrity. on transparency, why does that really matter? transparency and competition in the swaps markets lowers cost for investors. it does in every market. transparency and competition, it could be in the health markets. it can be in the auto markets, the oil markets. it lowers some of the costs to the people using the product. and at nearly $300 trillion -- though remains the largest dark hole in our financial markets.
i see harvey gulcmman here. you probably debated dark pools in the securities markets. this dwarfs them, my friend. the dodd/frank -- from wall street to the rest of the economy. it does this in two fundamental -- in a number of fundamental ways, actually. but it provides the public information to the pricing ands volume of every transaction once it's completed. so-called post transparency. it does so also by providing all market participants the opportunity to come together to transact on a transparent, open and competitive trading platforms. so-called pretrade transparency. so after the transaction and before the transaction. and these trading platforms will mean that end users, investors and speculators benefit from seeing available bids and offers and get the provision of liquidity. the law even goes further by providing the public with daily
valuation over the life of all cleared swaps and, in addition, it provides greater information to the regulators. so one can have an effective cop on the beat. rules do actually benefit if they're enforced. the cftc has completed seven of nine key reforms to bring such transparency to the swaps market. the commission already has begun receiving position information from large traders in the physical commodity markets including the oil and energy markets. to bring light and shine on this marketplace for the first time. in addition, starting this july, the public will start to get reporting on every transaction or nearly every transaction in the market in what's called real-time public reporting. not all that different from what's over in the corporate bond marketplace in something called the trace reporting. by contrast, prior to 2008, none of this.
none of this was in the largest dark pool in the market. now the public and regulators will start to get information. financial reform also means lowering risk that wall street poses to investors, consumers and businesses across america. dodd/frank reforms does this in three ways. this is the three ways to lower risk. one, through bringing transparency as i just discussed. because transparency in and of itself helps lower risk. two, by mandating that the standard transactions, the standard swaps, be brought into financial entities called clearinghouses. and, three, by actually regulating the dealers in this space. because they were not regulated before under what was an assumption that if they were banks, they were kind of regulated anyway. that assumption didn't work so well. clearinghouses have lowered risk in the futures market by standing between buyers and sellers of these contracts and guaranteeing each party against the failure of the other party.
and though clearinghouses clearly have to be overseen for comprehensive risk management, they've worked to lower risk for a they've worked to lower risks for a long, long time. in fact, in contrast to this past century, there's been many, many bank failures. we've lived through the great depression and the 2008 financial crisis. though clearinghouses have to be managed well, and have vigorous oversight, they're far better than the alternative leaving this risk in the banks. dodd-frank financial reform mandates that swaps between financial entities, or 90% of the financial transactions could possibly move into the clearinghouses. let me repeat that. if there's a swap between two financial entities, it's
supposed to be moved to this clearinghouse. the thought was really that those that are about 9%, 10% of the market and the furthest away from this financial system, they get to choose. and they also represent 94% of the jobs. it's important to note that cop sis temperature with this congressional intent, the cftc has been working rule by rule so that so-called end users don't get swept up into definitions like this clearing definitions or the margin calculations. if we follow congressional intent and allow end users the opportunity to choose rather than being swept up in regulation, they are the enormous benefactors of this transparency, if the financial system has lower risk. investors, consumers and businesses in america benefit for the first time from comprehensive regulation and
oversight from the swap dealers themselveses. we've passed three rules to register these entities, to ensure that they have better sales practices when they actually transact with the marketplace, particularly with special entities in the law. and we have completed roles with regard to their own risk management or internal business conduct, including firewalls between their trading and research side. i know you had a panel early on the implications dodd-frank. we're going to build on these by finalizing on capital. financial reform means something to investors, consumers and
businesses in america -- see the theme repeating itself -- through market integrity. reforms will protect end users from fraud, manipulation and other abuses in the swap market, as well as the burdens that may rise from excessive speculation. markets work best when you can have rules on the road and a cop on the beat. we learned that in the 'thirties with the great reforms in that era. so market integrity is critical. the dodd-frank act closed a significant gap in our authorities to pursue manipulation charges in the marketplace. i assume the lawyers in the room know what i just said. i've learned it but i never went to law school. we've also got a new whistleblower authority where
people can come in and point out abuses. it also directs us to establish aggregate position limits for the futures and swaps marketplace for the first time for the energy, agricultural and minerals markets. and in october of 2011, we completed the roles so that no single speculator is able to obtain an overly concentrated position in the market. now, full and effective implementation of these reforms to best benefit the public does, however, necessitate funding. i can't finish the speech by not mentioning it. but about 700 people at the cftc were smaller than our sister agency with 4,000 at the fcc to give you a sense of scale. we're only 10% greater than we were at our peak in the '90s. and the market, that we've
overseen for the corn and wheat futures and the energy futures and the financial futures, that market has grown fivefold and we've grown 10%. that's efficiency. that's a good use of taxpayer dollars. now congress said after this crisis, we have to take on the swaps market place, which is $300 trillion in size and not do it with anymore people. that's fundamentally what congress has said to us and unfortunately, that's where we stand right now. the cftc will continue working hard and effectively to oversee the futures market and implement reforms for the unregulated swaps market and this year we will finish the rules of the road for the swaps market in a thoughtful and balanced way. but without sufficient resources, the nation cannot be assured that this agency can oversee the futures and swaps market and that end users, because fundamentally this benefits all end users and their
consumers and customers, we can ensure that they get the benefit of transparent markets and the enhanced market integrity. the financial crisis was devastating for consumers and businesses in america and dodd-frank responded to the reforms that lowers risk and brings greater integrity to these markets and financial reform benefits the companies in the real economy that provide the private sector jobs. it benefits all of us in this room as taxpayers so we don't stand behind future bailouts. it benefits everybody that has a pension fund or a mutual fund and wants to invest in a more transparent marketplace. so it benefits just about everybody possibly with the exception of a few people that benefit from keeping this market dark. but most of us really do benefit from this reform. and i think that was the nature
of your conference. you wanted me to say why i think this matters. so some have raised the concerns that these reforms will raise cost for end users. i say not true. end users are the big beneficiaries here as long as we get the congressional intent right with end users not being caught up with a definition here or there. and let us not forget the far greater cost overall, the 8 million jobs that were lost, the millions of homes that were foreclosed upon, the hundreds of thousands of businesses that didn't make their budgets and their plans. and that's really what reform is all about and why it is so necessary. and with that, i thank you again for inviting me. you can see i kind of care about this stuff. i believe in it. i think it really matters. but i would be glad to take questions from your participants and then afterwards i'm going to be available for the members of the fourth estate outside. [ applause ]
>> so the chairman has agreed to take questions. are you comfortable in following up folks? >> absolutely. as long as you introduce yourself. >> jim cox. >> jim, you we are with what organization? >> duke university student of law. >> i thought so because i've read some of your papers over the years. >> well, hopefully you'll still answer my questions. the report has gotten lots of reports that the result of regulation will drive these transactions offshore but the risk will remain here. i'm not a commodities perp, i just wonder what reassurance can you provide me that the press is wrong on this? >> well, i think this is -- it is true that risks and money knows no geographic boundary. it's the click of a mouse that
sends it around the globe. that is why we here have been working so closely with europeans and asians and australians on financial reform. but i do think that we can't forget the financial crisis that we had here, and that congress moved ahead with the president to say we've got to shine a bright light on these markets. i think that the american public benefits by that. if you transact here, in this country, you have a u.s. party, even if it's a cross border traps action, that u.s. party has to get the benefit of transparency and the benefits of lower risk. if a transaction happens, of course, in china, that's another matter. but if it's cross border and it affects the u.s. people, then we've got to bring that transparen transparency. i also feel very encouraged by the progress europe is making, canada. japan has passhe